Kirjoittanut: Jacinda Lumme - tiimistä PROC 2023.
Personal accountability is the willingness to answer for the outcomes that came as a result of your choices, behaviours, and actions. Being accountable means taking ownership over the situations you are involved in. Taking responsibility and accountability is done through all circumstances whether they are good or bad and you aim to correct the situation to the best of your ability. The definition of accountability is the quality or state of being accountable, especially : an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions.
Accountability in leadership
Taking accountability is an important aspect within leadership where an individual may need to be held accountable for the actions of their teams. Typically the leaders which are accountable are more likely to be trusted and respected. This comes as a result of other individuals knowing that they will keep their word. Taking accountability as a leader in a workplace can help create a healthy culture. Leaders which are accountable do this by communicating clearly their goals, objectives and key results to align the team whilst accepting responsibility when things go wrong. This also includes giving credit to success when they are due to be given. Accountability is important within leadership as it keeps the employees aligned with the business strategies.
In an environment where individuals aren’t taking ownership over decisions and addressing issues and problems whilst solving them, it’s unproductive and things won’t get done. Accountability within a workplace is an environment where the employees hold responsibility for their actions, performance, behaviour, and decisions. In addition to this work commitments and the morale of employees is linked to accountability and all together there is higher workplace performance. Taking accountability within the workplace is the recognition that the result of your work affects other team members and the general company performance. This means taking responsibility over results and avoiding assumptions that work and tasks is someone else’s job to handle. When team members are consistent in demonstrating ownership and accountability, there is room for trust to develop and be formed and micromanaging to be reduced.
Within the workplace, lack of accountability ultimately damages the teams and causes the team and workplace culture to suffer. Lack of accountability causes team members to feel frustrated and disengaged with the team when commitments have not been met. Attributes of a workplace that the team members have a lack of accountability are low team morale, high turnover, low trust levels, decreased employee engagement, uncles priorities, and unmet individual and team goals. In order to rectify this it is good to establish goals and expectations that are measurable so that everyone is aware of what is aiming to be achieved. It is then important to address the difference between expectations and current performance to close the gap. As an individual it is beneficial to take responsibility for one’s own actions and acknowledge one’s mistakes and the power held to fix that mistake.
Taking accountability can be beneficial in many areas such as improving and having more positive social interactions. It also helps to build trust within teams and organisations since individuals know that they are able to depend on each other. In addition, money and time can be saved and those who take accountability are ready to look for solutions when there is a problem to prevent the situation from escalating and getting worse which stops any extra costs and delays. Personal accountability also aids an individual’s chances of promotion since other colleagues will view you as dependable whilst displaying leadership qualities.
Being more accountable
In order to be more accountable it is important to know your role and what you are responsible for so that your tasks are set clearly. It is also beneficial to be honest with not only others but yourself when a mistake has been made. Another element of accountability is apologising to make amends and display what will be done to correct the situation. This prompts focus to be placed on the end goal and solution instead of the problem. In situations it is good to avoid procrastinating so that others are not solving your problems instead to the point where colleagues would feel that they cannot rely on you, ultimately affecting one’s professional reputation. It is also imperative to not overcommit to tasks to avoid missing tasks and deadlines. When agreeing to tasks it is good to evaluate whether you are able to fulfil the task to one’s best ability and quality. Asking and receiving feedback is also crucial in taking accountability and learning. The ability to reflect and find new methods of carrying out tasks is only beneficial.
Amin, H. 2022. How to make accountability a core part of your workplace culture. Updated on 3.10.2022. Read on 18.3.2023. https://hypercontext.com/blog/management-skills/create-culture-accountability-workplace
Caprino, K. 2019. 4 ways to wake accountability for your actions (and why so many don’t). Read on 18.3.2023. https://www.forbes.com/sites/kathycaprino/2019/08/18/4-ways-to-take-accountability-for-your-actions-and-why-so-many-dont/?sh=764885976dab
Betterworks. 2021. Accountability in leadership. Read on 18.3.2023. https://www.betterworks.com/magazine/accountability-in-leadership/
Mind Tools Content Team. Developing Personal Accountability. Read on 18.3.2023. https://www.mindtools.com/ami110w/developing-personal-accountability